Episode Description

This episode unpacks the meaning of Live Alive, and why this podcast exists. Living alive is a concept of great heart, spirit, faith and inspiration, which has evolved into a movement. The concept originated with our beloved late friend, Reginald “Reggie” Dwayne Wilson III. We have the privilege of taking this momentum forward. 

Episode Transcript

Jordan Johnson  00:00

just gripping with the way that, you know, he spoke a lot about love alive, he made you feel like you know, he definitely believed what it meant and what it represented, but he made you see it in yourself you're listening to live a live podcast, a weekly dose of motivation, writing your back pocket. I'm Jordan Johnson,

Anisa Johnson  00:28

and I'm Anisa Johnson,

Both  00:30

we're your hosts. 

Jordan Johnson  00:31

Every week, we share thought provoking conversations created to inspire you to bring the best version of you into everything you do. Think of us as the guide as you journey towards realizing your vision of successful and fulfilling life. Whether you're climbing the corporate ladder, building a business, or dreaming of being a stay at home parent, we are here to help you cultivate passion, purpose and motivation in your everyday life.

Anisa Johnson  01:02

So tell me, when was the first time you heard the words "live alive"?

Jordan Johnson 01:13

The first time I heard the words live alive - Was in college. My good friend and fraternity and line brother, Reggie had come to me with this, this business idea really around, trying to start a clothing line around like live alive, he kind of told me what it all meant, what it stood for, to him and everything at the time. And I'm just like, "dude get out of my face." I'm about to flunk out of school, you know.

So I pretty much just kind of put it aside. And honestly didn't, didn't think about it again, focused on trying to stay enrolled, which I did, for the record. Graduated quite successfully. But another story.

But you know what, what I think about is when I heard it again, after the first time. And when I heard it again, it was after I'd graduated and moved from Austin to Dallas. I'm living with my Aunt and uncle at the time - shout out to my Aunt Linda and Uncle Ed.

And, you know, I worked downtown in Dallas at the time. So I worked for a marketing agency downtown. So the drive - the commute in - from where my Aunt and uncle live was  quite significant. It's far. If I was driving in Dallas traffic downtown to the northern suburbs, I'm in the car for like an hour, hour and a half maybe, especially an hour and a half at the end of the day. And by then, both Reggie and I had graduated, he was from Dallas. So he moved back home, I moved to my next city's adventure post college, right.

And we were obviously boys, you know, tight friends, fraternity and line brothers shout out to the Nupes. And we hung out all the time in Dallas, he was one of the few people I spent time with once I first moved to the city. So we talked on the phone a lot. And so one day he calls me and I'll never forget this. And I feel like the story starts there for me, mostly. And we're talking when the conversation began, I think with me leaving work and he's, you know, you know, getting off of work as well, he knows I have a drive. So he just, you know, stays on the phone with me.

And we really just killing time, kind of like passing time, you know, small talk jokes, the run of the mill, and then we got to talking about entrepreneurship, you know, and what legacy we wanted to leave for our family, friends, people we love, what inspiration we wanted to give, and he brought it back up again.

And he brought this in, in his mind, a fully baked idea. I'll give him that at the same time, of "live alive '' and what it meant, and when I mean, we talked for the entire hour and a half around what live alive could be, what it could represent and at the time. You know, his idea was centered really around clothing and apparel brand, where we could have lived a life of the expressed through like an urban streetwear.

But the meaning was where the real value was like he expressed it to me in a sense, where it was all about, you know, inspiration, whatever Live Alive was printed on. It was about inspiration and belief in feeling like whatever it was that you wanted out of life, you were fully equipped your heart and your body and your soul, your mind with the ability to achieve that and living alive was about acknowledging that and helping people see and realize that whatever that it was, whatever that it that they wanted to be achieved do in life they could rather it was trying to succeed in your first, you know, job real job out of college or whether it was, you know, you're an established career person, you're trying to be a CEO, or whether you're just trying to be a stay at home parent, professional student, professional, you know, trash truck driver, whatever it was, that was what the communication was from him around, like what Live Alive embodied.

And, you know, by the time I make it, you know, 90% through this hour and a half drive and I'm pulling up into my Aunt and Uncle's driveway by then I've been reluctant, the entire drive home that hour and a half drive. And anybody who knows me knows, I overthink practically everything.

And I was overthinking this the same way. And I was, you know, pressure testing it to the max and I'm like, you know, what, if you know how are we gonna afford the grounding of foundational apparel, how are we going to get the word out? What if this WHAT IF THAT? And he never wavered. And so by the time we pulled into the driveway, or I pulled into the driveway, I just said, I'm in? Yeah. I buy it.

Anisa Johnson  06:30

Yeah. It sounds like it was his unwavering that helped you buy it. His belief in the message?

Jordan Johnson  06:44

That's definitely a good way to put it. I would, I would agree fully that Reggie has this unwavering belief and energy with the way that he communicates and like hearing him talk to me for an hour and a half. With that, that rigor, that energy in that presence. I think it's what convinced me.

Anisa Johnson  07:17

Absolutely. And it sounds like it convinced a good chunk of other people. So what happened next, after a drive?

Jordan Johnson  07:26

We went to work, and that's what happened. Next we went to work. And you know, so I was prefacing earlier, that live alive started kind of foundationally as an apparel brand. And that's what we went to work building from his vision. So we've benefited from a couple of different things, right? Reggie being exceptionally intelligent to begin with, right? Me, having my own, you know, minimal amount of smarts to go with that combination as well.

But it was really our backgrounds that made it perfect as well, like our formal, you know, routes of education and profession that we began to crack into. So I was working for a marketing agency at the time, which had a slew of creative art designers in that environment, and Reggie worked in finance or finance, as he wanted me to say. And so we took his finance background and did all of the budgeting, the planning the, you know, costing out of like, how much everything was cost, and I went to work, you know, kind of nudging people on the side at my market agency trying to find designers.

So we end up taking a couple designers to lunch. So at the time, he also worked relatively close to the downtown Dallas area. And we met up with these two guys who were trying to recruit. And similar to the hour and a half drive towards my aunt and uncle's house, the conversation that Reggie had had with me, he had with him and by the time we you know, finished our you know, very low income affordable lunch to be eating out during work hours, meals, everyone was in agreement that this is cool. This has a lot of heart behind it. Let's do it.

So we kind of kicked off from that point with this small but mighty team of two real professional designers, it was what they did for the day jobs. I was kind of a hybrid marketer that, you know, kind of managed various things in the marketing industry myself and then Reggie from, you know, finance,  foundational inspiration and really just overall direction on where we could go combining those things. We we started out on our mission

Anisa Johnson  09:54

on your mission, and what was that

Jordan Johnson  09:57

Our mission? Mission was, was kind of multifaceted. I think at the time, we want it to inspire as many people to question whether they will get the most out of life.

And as we pushed for it with, with live alive building this apparel brand and represented live alive at the time, we sort of drafting up and creating these, this mantra to represent live alive and be able to communicate it and be able to put that on, you know, the website that we were working on at the time.

And it was about these three pillars, these three pillars of being conscious, being passionate and, and being fearless. And you know, what those three pillars really meant is that, to expand on that, you know, we believe that everybody had this spark inside of them this this flame that if they were willing to look at, if they were conscious enough to pause and take some time to examine themselves, they they would see that spark because it's there, it's there in all of us.

And what that spark if stoked turns into a flame and once that flame gets going, it's burning gets hot, it's impossible to walk in a half stepping way of life, it's impossible to not want the boast the best maximize experience out of whatever decisions you've made for your life. If once you start to stoke that flame that's inevitably there. It's like you can't go back to doing status quo like you've got to question is, is this is this more for us? So I think that's what we want and that was that was our mission and and in doing so if we could do so successfully I thought at the time was that we could leave a pretty incredible legacy

Anisa Johnson  12:01

That's awesome. So it sounds like to me what I'm gathering this all synthesizing it almost sounds like like while, also you know, your live alive mission is to get people to look at that spark and to notice that it exists there's also a little bit of a fanning of the flame that has to happen with with kind of pushing people into our inspiring people into into embodying the mantra of level of alive

Jordan Johnson  12:34

Yeah, I think so. I think that's in the right lane for sure. But I think it all starts with that consciousness aspect. I think there was a reason that was first because it was about that awareness I think something that I'm forever grateful to to Reggie for is really exposing me to a feeling what energy I had inside of me and feeling the energy of a situation or an environment that I stepped into I think you know and it's a quick sidebar to we became roommates throughout the process.

I think that made trying to build a business and build an organization a little bit easier and it kind of merged our lives so we did it we did everything together and just the way that this guy would I don't know bake chicken in the kitchen was passionate I think in  you know and I was a person I think I was this way for a long time and I'm thankful that I kind of got a chance to grow a little bit and was forced to grow a little bit but I think I was kind of a know at all type of person like where you know I was confident but I think a lot of times you know my confidence may have even been been misguided you know overestimating my own abilities and things like that.

But you know one of the teachings that I took from Reggie and still carry with me today and forever will is this just purity of passion with like the smallest things and I go back to that example of like this this guy would just have so much excitement behind like the I kid you not the baked chicken that he just pulled out of the oven and you know if you live with someone that's like a roommate, you know that that becomes to a degree you know commonplace but it and you kind of get used to that energy in like reciprocating that and like living that yourself, but you know Reggie at times would always just, you know shock you as well with his awareness and you know ability to tap into that in like even a social or external setting. When you really weren't anticipating it, I never forget times we'd maybe be out socially maybe blowing off a little steam or something, go into a bar lounge or something like that. And when we would go into a place, I'm thinking, like, oh, man, I think I'm having a pretty good time. I'm like, but it's kind of dull that all of a sudden, you know, Reggie taps me and he's like, "oh, just the energy in here is off, man. I'm not feeling it." I think for a second. It is kind of weird here. I noticed until you said some now my whole night's ruined, but you right?

Anisa Johnson  15:35

Yeah, it's like bringing your attention to that… sounds like a gift of His. I'm so curious, though. You talk about your drive and the drive home from work that day and talking him talking to you to get on board with this idea. And then going on to recruit, you know, two people into this and ultimately, you know, getting a good chunk of other people to buy into this idea. So, I'm so curious as to like, what, what was said, what, how did he describe and cast this vision in such a way that that made you say, like, oh, yeah, let's do it.

Jordan Johnson  16:20

That's a great question, too. In, the best way I can describe it is, if you're, if you're talking to someone, in person, and they they're getting really passionate, right, and they're really getting either, you know, overly excited, I mean, overly excited, or, or is passionate from the other side of that spectrum, where it's like, it's anger, where this person is like, imagine them reaching out grabbing you by your shoulders, one hand on one side, are you on the other side and the other, like shaking you while they're talking?

I think Reggie had a unique ability to do that, whether he was standing in front of you or not. It was gripping with the way that you know, he spoke a lot about live alive, he made you feel like he definitely believed what it meant and what it represented. But he made you see it in yourself. And I think that's what really caught on for me. I think that's why it became what it is.

And I think and I did give an example. I think what it is this was this way we were having that conversation. In the - when I was in the car, driving home from work, this was 2012, you know, is 2021 now, and people still say the phrase, people still want to summarize a feeling of like motivation or inspiration by by tagging it as Live Alive people in our friend groups, people that are closer to our friend group that was the really, that were really close to us. And those that were not really close to us can still say that today unaided. And I think that's just powerful for a stamp that someone has and can place on this earth.

And I think, you know, I think that's part of what we know, today, even on this podcast, of being able to try to talk about and get to the awareness and exposure of that spark that flame is in all of us. 

Anisa Johnson  18:34

That's good. Yeah, definitely. I love what you said about how people still are saying this. And it's, I go back to your analogy on the spark turning into a flame and then and then you're fanning the flames. So it's like once that - it's really hard to put out a fire once a fire gets going. Right? And I think that that's how we ended here. That's how we ended up here. Right? We were, we were talking about, you know, being inspired and wanting to inspire other people and motivate other people to really, you know, live alive. And there were so many different things, different ways that we tried to describe this podcast. And they were really all like second rate versions of live alive. And I think we came back here for a reason. I really do think it's, it's that spark. That was that you know, started with, with Reggie, I'm sure before 2012 But you know, officially Est. 2012. And, you know, we just got to keep it going.

Jordan Johnson  19:42

Yeah, and I'm and I'm excited about that. That's exactly how  we got here and I'm not sure that I'm breaking the rules and I'm like I wanna I wanna I want to tell the listeners kind of the conversation. We sit around the table and had I think 

Anisa Johnson  19:58

Which conversation? 

Jordan Johnson  19:59

Yeah, right, like, I promise it'll be it'll be clean and on topic, you know, but, you know, I know that just from just from, you know, rubbing against each other's own sparks like just around our our household and our relationship and our marriage we talk all the time around, you know, what we're going to do what inspires us like you talk about all of these things behind your mindset in the way that you approach life and your focus when you give me your time when you get your energy to and like wanting to help people you're actively helping people in so many ways. That's, that's what you do, that's who you are.

And then on my side of the table, it's like, at times when you're thinking about it from a from a passion from a heart from an interest from a focus perspective, it's like looking at them in a mirror truly, those are the same things I talked about the same things that I believe in you know, in a way I very much feel like I'm carrying the baton from from from Reggie but you know in our current day and I current sense you know, we sit at the table and talked about you know how what does this podcast go what is it what summarizes and we kicked around all these these names as if we were you know, trying to you find a way to call it you know, Live Alive "lite" or Live Alive you know, gluten free when it was just Live Alive.

It is I mean it's the same movement and I'm just so excited to be able to establish this chapter of this movement that was a little heavy and I'm I'm really I'm really excited that we're getting a chance to put this put this out there for the listeners and fan these these flames again around living alive and living with that intentionality and purpose because you know 2012 to 2021 is a long time and that's a that's a long time for a fire to burn but I by no means think that I by no means think that this flame, this spark, this movement around live alive I don't believe for one second that it's dimmed the light has dimmed at all. And I think that has a lot to do with its originator and yeah, the light and the passion and rigor and purpose and love that Reggie graced us all with.

Anisa Johnson  22:47

That's awesome. This episode is dedicated to the loving memory of Reginald Dwayne Wilson the third who passed away on September 17 2016. He was 26 years old.

Jordan Johnson  23:02

Reggie was a spark who lit the inspirational flame for this live live movement to begin. We love you. We miss you. Live Alive.

John Carter

Entrepreneur & Podcaster

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